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The selective etching of H+ ions and its effect on the oriented growth of diamond films

: Jiang, X.; Xia, Y.B.; Zhang, W.J.


Journal of applied physics 82 (1997), No.4, pp.1896-1899
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IST ()
elemental-semiconductors; diamond; thin films; plasma etching; etching

A novel etching effect of hydrogen ions on the growth of diamond films was observed. The H⁺ ion bombardment was performed by applying a negative substrate bias during a microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition process, using only hydrogen as a reactant gas. The effect of this bombardment was investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy. It was found that the etching efficiency of H⁺ ions on non-[001]-oriented grains is more significant than that on grains with their (001) faces parallel to the substrate. A lateral growth of the (001) faces can occur during the bombardment process. As a result, the size of (001) faces increases after H⁺ etching while grains with other directions are etched off. This effect provides a way to improve the orientation degree of [001] oriented diamond films and might be helpful for obtaining [001] oriented diamond films with small thickness.